My undergrad degree was in electrical engineering. Since then, I’ve worked in industry for over a decade - both as an electrical engineer and as a software engineer.

In this post I’ll list all the technical courses I took in undergrad, with a remark on whether I ever used them on the job.

Some nuances:

I may have used material from advanced courses, but that doesn’t mean all its prerequisites get a “Yes”. As an example, I utilized the fact that local optimizers often estimate the gradient of the objective function - something I learned when taking a numerical analysis course. Understanding that requires an understanding of calculus. However, unless I actually did some integration/differentiation for my work, I would still mark calculus in the negative.

Also note: I took numerical analysis in graduate school, hence its exclusion from this list.

There were times I utilized the material from a course at work, but it really wasn’t needed, and the work would still have got done without it. I usually mark them as a “yes”, but I’ll note these situations accordingly.

I may have utilized several of these in hobby projects, but I’m counting only items I needed for work.


Never used.

Calculus I

We learned single variable calculus.

Yes. Used it once or twice to differentiate a function, but it wasn’t needed.

Calculus II

Continuation of single variable calculus. Several integration tricks as well as convergence of series.

Never used.

Calculus III

Multivariable calculus. Never used.

Engineering Graphics

Never used.

Introduction to Programming

Basics of programming, including binary search trees and trees in general.

Used it.

Discrete Math

Used it on a few rare occasions to enumerate the possible cases (factorials, combinations, etc).

I’ll count it even though all that I used was taught to me in high school.

Engineering Physics I


Never used.

Engineering Physics II

Electromagnetics, circuits

Used basic circuit principle like Ohm’s Law

Circuits I

This covered DC circuits in detail (Thevenin/Norton, RLC circuits, etc).

Not used. (Well, I did but everything I used was taught in the more basic Physics II course, so I counted that instead).

Circuits II

AC circuits. Small signal analysis. Fourier series.

Never used.

Differential Equations

Never used.

Engineering Statics

Free body diagrams and all the physics/math behind static loads.

Never used.

Engineering Dynamics

Continuation of statics, but now with motion.

Never used.

Linear Algebra

Vectors, matrices, vector spaces, etc.

This is a tough one as most of my usage for it was indirect via numerical algorithms. But I think I did once or twice have to write computational code that involved rudimentary matrix computations (scalar product, etc).

I’ll call this a “yes”.

Fluid Mechanics

Never used.

Probability and Statistics


Digital Logic

Used a Karnaugh map once. Didn’t need to, but I did.

Signals and Systems

Various transforms (z, Fourier, Laplace), solving recurrence relations, etc.

Never used it.


Never used it.

Topics in Pure Math

Random topics (Cantor’s Diagonalization, etc).

Electronics I

BJTs, amplifiers, etc.

Never used

Electronics II

MOSFETs, Op Amps, various circuit topologies

Never used it.

(Technically, I did a lot of MOSFET work, but all of it involved material from a course I took in grad school - I could have skipped this course altogether).

Electrical Machines

Generators, Motors, etc

Never used it.

Advanced Electromagnetic Theory

Waveguides, antennae, etc.

Never used it.

Engineering Economics

Sunk cost, interest rate calculations, etc.

Never used it.


Never used it.

Communications Theory

FM/AM, Nyquist, Shannon, etc.

Never used it.

Control Theory

PID controllers, state space controllers, etc.

Never used it.

Communication Circuits

Actual circuits for PLLs, etc.

Never used it.

Information Theory

Entropy, etc.

Never used it.

Complex Variables

Calculus of complex numbers.

Never used it.

Engineering Physics III


Never used it.

Programming II

Classes, object oriented design, etc.

Used it.

Modern Physics

Special Relativity and introduction to QM

Never used it.

High Frequency Circuits

Smith charts, transmission line theory, etc.

Never used it.

Classical Mechanics (physics)

Up to Lagrangians.

Never used it.

Electromagnetics (physics)

Never used it.

Quantum Mechanics I (physics)

Never used it.

Quantum Mechanics II (physics)

Never used it.